Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jaisalmer... finally made it to India

Hi everyone! Josh and I just finished up a 19+hour train ride from New Delhi to Jaisalmer. Can't complain, really. The train wasn't fancy, but we had our own beds and good conversation with the other people in our Intrepid group. There are 12 of us total, plus our guide Navin who is from Darjeeling. We're the only Americans on the trip, which is nice. It's better to have a wide range of people from different backgrounds on a trip like this. You learn more from each other and have a wider breadth of experience to draw from.

A view of Jaisalmer Fort over the train

The ornate ceiling in one of Jaisalmer's Jain temples

Josh and the son of the Guinness Book's longest moustache record-holder, trying to achieve the same status

Ganesh, the elephant headed Hindu god who removes obstacles, is painted on the side of a house before a couple is married, for good luck

In New Delhi at Humayun's Tomb

Inside the Red Fort

Sorry there was no proper update from Myanmar, but the government restricts what websites, newspapers, television channels, and radio you have access to. We were in Myanmar for about 3 weeks and had a really great time. After getting situated in Yangon for a day or so, we hopped on a bus to Inle Lake and spent a few days. Stayed at a really nice relaxing hotel on the lake for one night and spoiled ourselves. Josh gorged on Burmese tomato salad, and we saw the ruins and Indein in the southwest area around the lake. Due to our taxi forgetting us, we stayed an extra day in Nuangshwe (the city with access to Inle). Next up was a 10 hour local bus to Bagan. The bus ride took us through mountainous regions and many small towns. The scenery was gorgeous, and there was no need for air con on the bus. Apparently, quail eggs are a popular traveling snack since all the touts were trying to sell them to the passengers on the bus at every stop.

We stayed in Bagan for 2 days and 3 nights and toured around on Japanese mamachari bicycles. It was harder than it sounds because we managed to hit the 1 week long rainy season in Bagan and were often wading through mud troughs dragging our ever accumulating mud covered bikes beside us. Josh really fell in love with Bagan and we easily could have stayed longer, but money was tight so we headed back to Yangon. The last week was spent in the city, wandering around, looking at the architecture, trying out different restaurants, and spending time with our friends who live there. We went mountain biking on the outskirts of the city one morning with a local expat group. It was once again muddy and grueling. I think we slept for the whole day after!

One of our last nights, we found what may be the only hotel that accepts credit card in Yangon and treated ourselves. I even ordered room service. This was well deserved because the night prior I was bitten on the leg by a street dog (one of MANY in Yangon). Don't worry, I just had my 3rd in a series of 4 rabies shots, and the dog wasn't foaming at the mouth. It's just precautionary.

Back to India...

Our hotel in Jaisalmer is stunning. Our room is covered in mirrored mosaics and sandstone lattice work shelving. We have a sweet little window seat with a huge cushion which I have made my own. We're here for 2 days, then it's out to the desert to ride some camels and spend a night under the stars around a campfire. I'm pretty excited to see the stars from the desert again, and we're really lucky to have a full moon as well!

Will write more soon, and hopefully have a chance to upload some photos. I hope you are all well!

Nihongo de, mo sugu kakimasu!

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